National Mentoring Month
Founded in 2002, January marks the beginning of the 18th Annual National Mentoring Month in the United States. The entire month is dedicated to celebrating mentoring and inspiring others to get involved in their own communities. According to The Power of Relationships Report, 44% of American aren't mentoring yet, but are willing to consider it. Our goal this year is to help bridge the gap between positive adult figures and the youth in our community. Join the thousands of people getting involved this January by becoming a mentor today!
Youth With A Mentor Are:
55% MORE LIKELY TO ENROLL IN COLLEGE
78% MORE LIKELY TO VOLUNTEER REGULARLY
90% MORE INTERESTED IN BECOMING A MENTOR
130% MORE LIKELY TO HOLD LEADERSHIP POSITIONS
Source: MENTOR, The National Mentoring Partnership - Mentoring Impact
In Our Program, An Average Mentoring Relationship Lasts For 30+ Months
Youth matched with a mentor for 12 months in our program:
Benefits for Bigs
Benefits for Littles
Decrease your risk for depression
Volunteering with and for others increases social interaction and helps build a support system based on commitment and interests.
Increase in confidence
When Littles are matched with a Big, they feel they are more self-confident and socially accepted.
"The Happiness Effect"
The release of dopamine in the brain that gives you the feel-good sensation that happens when you help others.
Littles have better attitudes about school and improved grades.
Greater self-awareness directly affects decision-making, coordination and conflict management.
Avoidance of risky behavior
When Littles have an extra support person in their corner, they tend to improve their overall behavior, including avoiding violence, alcohol and drugs.
Source: Corporation for National & Community Service: The Health Benefits of Volunteering
Steps To Become A Big
- Meet at least two times a month.
- Meet for at least four hours a month.
- Commit to at least 12 months.
- Must be a high school graduate or have a GED.
- Must be at least 19 years of age.
- Must have a valid driver's license and car insurance.
- Complete a background and reference check.
Hosted by the Marketing & Recruitment team, these quarterly events are always free, open to the public and a way for us to recruit Bigs and thank our current Bigs for everything they do. They are also a great way for people who are wanting more information to meet some staff members and hear from current Bigs as well in a fun, laidback environment.
2019's Big Socials were: Game Night at Spielbound Cafe, The Pursuit of Hoppyness at Kros Strain Brewing, !Big Fiesta! at Guaca Maya and Big Watch Party at DJ's Dugout (Bellevue).
Be on the lookout for events throughout the year!
2019 National Mid-Large Agency of the Year
The following criteria must be met in calendar year 2018 in order for affiliates to earn the Mid-Large Agency of the Year Award:
- Outstanding leadership from the Board of Directors
- Innovation and growth of the agency
- An increase the number of children served for 2017
- An increase in quality and mentoring match length for 2017
- An increase in revenue for 2017
2019 Quality Award
The following criteria must be met in calendar year 2018 in order for affiliates to earn the Quality Award:
- Serve a minimum of 150 children and raised $150,000 in revenue
- Achieve a Community-Based 12-month retention rate 5% higher than the national average (69.8%) for 2017
- Achieve a Site-Based 12-month retention rate 5% higher than the national average (50.9%) for 2017
- Maintain a Match Support Contact done rate of 90%
- 2017 Mid-Large Agency Board of the Year
- 2017 Mid-Large Agency of the Year
- 2017 Pinnacle Agency
- 2016 Pinnacle Agency
- 2016 Gold Standard Agency
- 2016 Business Excellence Award by Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce
- 2015 Mid-Large Agency Board of the Year
- 2015 Pinnacle Agency
- 2015 Gold Standard Agency
- 2014 Gold Standard Agency
- 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 NonProfit Times Fifty Best NonProfits to Work For
- 2017 Ranked #1 Best Small NonProfit to Work For
- 2007 Mid-Large Agency of the Year
Your Local 2019 Award Winners
Congratulations to our 2019 Big Brother, Big Sister, Big Couple and Parent of the Year!
A special congratulations to Big Brother Troy Romero for being nationally recognized as the 2019 Nebraska Big Brother of the Year!
Nebraska Big Brother of the Year Troy Romero and Little Brother Kenny
Marketing & Recruitment Team
Director of Marketing & Recruitment
Customer Relations Specialist
Marketing & Recruitment Specialist
If you don't see your question, feel free to reach out to a Marketing & Recruitment team member above.
Q) What are the requirements to become a Big?
A) Bigs must be:
-19 years or older. (Our current Bigs range from 19 to 70+)
-a high school graduate or hold a GED.
-have a valid driver's license and current automobile insurance.
-meet specific criminal history and automobile driving guidelines.
Q) How much time will I be expected to spend with my Little?
A) Bigs will pick their Little up at their home and spend at least four hours a month total on two or more separate outings.
Q) How long can a match last?
A) We ask for a minimum commitment of one year for each match we make. However, if both parties wish, matches may remain active until the Little turns 18 or graduates from high school.
Q) How long will it take to get matched?
A) We do not operate on a first come first served basis. The waiting period varies for the different type of Big. At our agency, we typically have a list of close to 100 Little Brothers and Little Sisters waiting to be matched at any given time.
Q) Is there a cost involved with this program?
A) Your financial output should be very minimal. We encourage our matches to do low and no-cost activities. Your assigned Match Support Specialists can help you with activity ideas. Children are expected to pay their own way when activities involve a cost. We also have a list of participating businesses that give special discounts to our Big-Little matches.
Q) May I choose the type of child I will be matched with?
A) Through the interview process, our Enrollment Coordinators will get to know you and will work with you to identify a child with whom you will be best matched, based upon age, background, interests and other factors.
Q) Does Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands accept LGBTQ volunteers?
A) We value diversity, and no person will be denied equal opportunity to volunteer because of race, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. Preferences, fit and similarity of interests are taken into consideration when matching individuals together. As part of the matching process, we will disclose such information to the parent/guardian. If preferences are not aligned, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands will work to find a Little who we believe will be a good match for you.
We will continually work to enhance our community-based mentoring program and agency as a whole to better support our LGBTQ+ Bigs, Littles and their families.
Q) Can I bring my spouse/friend/family member on outings?
A) In the beginning, it’s important for you and your Little to get to know each other. This happens best on a one-to-one basis. Over time, it is also valuable for your Little to get to know the people who are important to you. But remember to keep it to a minimum; the main focus is the friendship you have with your Little.
Q) What happens if my match doesn’t work out well?
A) We do everything in our power to make a make a match we think will last; however, we realize that sometimes things happen in life. Bigs or Littles move, situations change or something doesn’t work out. We will attempt to mediate the situation, but if it doesn’t work out, we will end the match. If this happens, your Match Support Specialist will be there to support you every step of the way and handle it in the best way possible. A Big should never just drop out of a Little’s life without closure as this is very detrimental to the child.